What can be a bigger gift than the gift of sight? Unfortunately, millions of elderly people lose this precious gift due to a lack of funds to do a simple cataract surgery. Cataract operations performed in cities like Bangalore typically cost between INR 8,000 to 12,000 depending on the case and complexity (with Indian lenses being used). With foreign lenses, the cost zooms to INR 40,000.
Anupama Principal of the DPS E City school says, “The biggest take away for the school was that there could be no better, more effective and worthwhile involvement, without encroaching on active school or study hours, to instil the value of empathy in the younger generation.”
However, with the help of charitable organisations such as Rotary Bangalore Indiranagar (RBI) and Globe Eye Foundation these surgeries are available at a much lower cost of close to INR 3800. Of the INR 3800, government subsidies and revenue from other surgeries take care of approximately INR 2800. The balance 1000 INR is being raised by the students from 2 schools – DPS East and DPS E-City. Each student is raising INR 20,000 in a bid to fuel the surgeries of 20 elderly poor in villages in Hoskote, Kolar & Chintamani. These students are as young as 12 years and some have even raised in excess of INR 1 Lakh.
Ranganath Thota, Founder & CEO, FuelADream.com says, “In this rapidly evolving world, the need to sensitise students to the world around them is a necessity. These kids are helping make a difference at such a young age, which shall help lay the foundation for socially responsible adults. They will grow up to be change agents.”
The DPS E-City campaign collected 8.24L and is completed, while the DPS East campaign has raised INR 16.1L. The initiative leverages the power of crowdfunding with partners coming on-board – schools, charity-focused organisations and hospitals. It’s the largest ever crowdfunding campaign done by students in India and reflects the will to embrace crowdfunding and get kids who wanted to help others come on-board.
Manila Carvalho, Principal, DPS East says, “We were very pleasantly surprised with how our students used crowdfunding on the Fueladream platform to make such a significant social impact. This initiative will help them be future-ready as they have learned how to use technology, social media, storytelling & relationships to transform the lives of so many needy elderly citizens. In the process, they have also evolved to become more humane, compassionate and empathetic individuals”.
Dr. Sundar Raj Shetty of Globe Eye Foundation remarked “Globe Eye Foundation salutes the new bunch of young warriors who have joined us in the fight against avoidable blindness. The scourge of cataract blindness in India is huge & there is a need for support from everyone to bring this menace under control. We are moved by the way these young students went around raising funds to treat the elderly poor people & in the process raises awareness too for this cause.”
The partnership model teaches kids in school the power of giving at an early age exposes them to crowdfunding and technology and gives them learning as to how to manage such campaigns. It gets them to interact with parents too as there is the responsibility shared amongst them when it comes to raising funds.
The CSR Journal Team